Christmas shopping – online or on the high street?

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New research has revealed that an increasing number of consumers intend to cut back on their Christmas spending this year in light of the current economic situation and pressures on domestic budgets.

The GfK Consumer Products and Retail’s Savvy Shopper study found that over a third of consumers (36%) claimed they would be cutting back, 10% more than last year.

However, the research revealed better news for online retailers despite the memories of delivery delays on account of bad weather conditions in December 2010. One in four (25%) shoppers surveyed claimed they would shop more online this year than in 2010 and just under three-quarters (72%) said they would do some or all of their Christmas shopping online.

Nearly half said that, wary of postal problems (42%) or bad weather (38%), they adapted their behaviour this year and started shopping online earlier than their high street counterparts.  The study showed that 4 out of 10 (40%) of consumers, who will be doing the majority of their Christmas shopping online, started ordering in September and October, while only a minority will leave it until December.

The customers who were planning to do most of their shopping on the high street will be doing this in November and December.

The study showed that consumers believe that shopping online is increasingly easy and secure. According to the study, four out of ten (40%) agreed that websites were easier to use than they were a year ago, and nearly a third (32%) believed that online shopping security had improved.

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